|Your cover letter is critical to your success. It sets the tone. It is read before your resume and includes vital information about you that every potential employer needs. If you don’t have a cover letter, or if you have one that is poorly written, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Knowing the crucial elements of a cover letter is imperative to getting in doors and moving your candidacy forward.|
Your cover letter must function as a roadmap leading the reader from start to finish. It must be created with one thought in mind – to get you noticed. It must invite, it must compel, it must drive the reader to a very specific conclusion: ‘This candidate is qualified; in fact, not only qualified, but the best fit for the position.’
Your resume will then be read. If your resume is as powerful as your cover letter, an interview will be scheduled. So how should a winning cover letter be constructed?
There are a number of ways to actually begin the letter. You could pose a question, you could make an extraordinary statement to grab the reader’s attention, or you can quote someone famous. Whatever you do, make sure it is appropriate to the advertised position and to the skills you possess. Along with this opening, you want to note the specific job to which you are responding.
Your letter then needs to state your worth, your applicable accomplishments and their relationship to the responsibilities of the position. This can be a couple of paragraphs, but keep in mind that less is more as long as significant content has been included. It’s critical that your cover letter be at most one page.
The final paragraph is your call to action. It is where you state your follow-up plan. This is where you create continuity to ensure your success.
Make sure you do not include any salary information in your cover letter. It will either disqualify you or lock you in to compensation that does not match your worth. If the job ad requests your salary information, you can always state that it is negotiable. While not being specific, doing this will keep you in the running.
Regardless of your field of endeavor or level of experience, you can write an attention-grabbing cover letter which, in conjunction with a powerful resume, will grant you access to the right opportunities and lead you to a successful job search conclusion.
Copyright © 2005 TopDog Group All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Richter is a recognized authority on career coaching. His extensive knowledge and experience gained from many years in recruitment, outplacement and career management has allowed David to formulate powerful strategies anyone can use to secure interviews and receive offers. David holds Masters in both Engineering and Counseling Psychology. Visit David's site for free tips, strategies and other career resources http://www.procareercoach.com
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